Gold Silver Reports — Following two sluggish years, copper finally effected a late recovery in 2016. Optimism over President Trumps $500 billion infrastructure plans drove the metal upward. Meanwhile, encouraging economic data from the second biggest economy and the largest copper consumer China have raised expectations of higher demand for the commodity, which in turn have led to an increase in prices. Additionally, continued workers strikes at major copper mines have also helped price escalation.
Meanwhile, in a widely expected move, the Fed raised key interest rates after its two-day policy meeting this week. However, the central banks cautious approach regarding the path of future rate hike this year weighed on the dollar.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the countrys industrial output advanced 6.3% year over year in January from the 6% increase in December. Steady growth in Chinas steel industry contributed to this increase in industry output. Additionally, investment in fixed assets, including factories and buildings increased 8.9% year over year during the January-February period, much better than a rise of 8.1% in 2016. Retail sales also advanced 9.5% in the last two months.
With China being the worlds major buyer of copper, accounting for 46% of total consumption, strong industrial production and fixed asset investment data are likely to signal the nations demand for the red metal.